March 28: TibetWatch

There are early reports out of another self-immolation in Ngaba, but there’s still far more talk of yesterday’s self-immolation in Delhi, where scores of Tibetan protesters had hoped to confront visiting Chinese leaders. From the NYT:

Tibetan exile Jamphel Yeshi, who set himself alight on Monday in New Delhi and died on Wednesday, left a letter behind which seems to be an attempt to explain his actions.

“The fact that Tibetan people are setting themselves on fire in this 21st century is to let the world know about their suffering, and to tell the world about the denial of basic human rights,” it said. The hand-written letter, dated March 16, 2012, was found in the room where Mr. Yeshi stayed in India’s capital, and translated by Dharamsala-based Tibetan writer Bhuchung D. Sonam into English. It has been widely circulated by Tibetan activists.

“If you have money, it is the time to spend it; if you are educated it is the time to produce results; if you have control over your life, I think the day has come to sacrifice your life,” Mr. Yeshi wrote.

Hint to China: This isn’t a problem you can solve by calling the Dalai Lama Hitler. Nice creative way to jam your foot in your mouth, though.

Outlook Tibet has a decent explanation of the background behind the movement to get rid of ethnic minority policies in China over here. Preferential policies for minorities are practically meaningless compared to the problems they face living in China- this move might get rid of some slight advantages, but will it erase Han chauvinism? Will it erase the security complex aimed at dissenting minorities, or the outright racism they face in China at large?

Zhu Weiqun, of the CCP United Front, has boldly proposed abolishing all reference to nationality on the identity cards all Chinese citizens must carry, and frequently produce for inspection. This latest step towards erasing Tibetan identity as a category with legal meaning, did not come from nowhere.

It has a lineage and is best understood in the context of a steady, deliberate, two-sided strategy that has been implemented over the past 20 years.

They go on to lay it out pretty well.

Finally, two videos that have emerged from Tibet recently. First, a protest in a small Amdo town- note the prominent place of Tibetan national flags in a place that sat far outside of the borders of the Tibetan state at the time of the Chinese invasion:

Finally, this one is from a recent self-immolation- be warned, it is EXTREMELY GRAPHIC. At the end of the video Tibetan bystanders fight off a group of police who show up to confiscate the body:

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Filed under ethnic conflict, Self-Immolation Crisis, Tibet

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